Jewcy: The Early Reviews

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Jewish bloggers have written their first reviews of the recently launched Jewcy.com and they’re not being generous.

– Ariel over at Blogs of Zion writes:

The artwork is amazing — the content, well, not so much…I don’t really care whether Jews are at the top of the evangelical movement, or what a porn-star’s mother says about her choice of a career. Moreover, I don’t see why answering the question as to why Israeli’s are pricks is “what matters now” as the Jewcy tagline claims.

Steven I. Weiss from Canonist is even harsher:

The press release, and the site, announce a slogan of “What matters now.� Well, not Jewcy, that’s for sure.
Sure, there are the items you’d expect, from the blatantly ignorant, the blogs that seem more masturbatory than informative, and the first person pieces that laboriously detail the lives of people you couldn’t care less about.
And the stuff by writers from whom you’ve learn to expect good things feel like toss-offs. Lauren Grodstein’s got a relatively interesting story about how Jews are perceived…from 1998. Somehow, even Neal Pollack’s stuff isn’t all that great there.

Jewlicious, commenting on an earlier Jewcy beta site, opined:

In the meantime, in terms of content, Jewcy looks like it’s going to provide much of the same old same old.

And on the comment board at Jewlicious, Jewschool’s Mobius chimed in:

eh, i saw the beta a while ago. i’m not impressed. in fact, i’m so unimpressed that i don’t even consider it a threat.

they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. if people are biting you, it means you’re a step ahead of them. jewcy may have a budget that i don’t, but they don’t have any original ideas (and they also clearly have no design sense or technical know-how), which means they’re destined for failure. which is sad because… what a waste of money i could’ve put to better use.

And then tempered his response with another comment:

jewcy means well, and i don’t really have any ill will towards them.

Now I’m all for an honest dialogue about a project’s merits and deficiencies, but my Psych 101 radar tells me Jewcy’s peers may, indeed, feel a bit threatened.

Ariel says he doesn’t “really care whether Jews are at the top of the evangelical movement, or what a porn-star’s mother says about her choice of a career.” But that’s just a personal preference, not a comment on the quality of the content. I found both articles interesting, well-written, and not at all obvious. Canonist seems to think the evangelical article is blatantly ignorant, but without any explanation why, those are empty words.

Does Jewcy have what to improve? Sure. But if you’re not willing to cut the new kid some slack and let it grow into itself, at least provide more than a flip opinion (“I don’t really care”) or hard-core dismissal (“blatantly ignorant”).

(In the interest of full-disclosure, like Steven over at Canonist, I also wrote a piece for Jewcy that may or may not be published and the porn-star interview was written by my good buddy Arye Dworken, but still…)

Posted on November 20, 2006

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3 thoughts on “Jewcy: The Early Reviews

  1. arielbeery@gmail.com

    Daniel, the entire nature of my post was personal–that is, I said that I, as a 27 year old Jew, did not find that the topics covered by Jewcy appealed to me–but that I, as a self-involved and involving Jew, might be too affiliated for Jewcy.

    Tahl is a great editor, and I’m sure he knows what he’s doing–it could be that I and my peers who are already involved in the Jewish community simply aren’t the target audience he’s trying to reach out to.

    And, if that is the case, he’s doing a good job of selecting stories that might be unappealing to those of us who follow Jewish communal news, culture and events.

  2. Daniel Septimus Post author

    Fair enough, Ariel. And you were certainly less dismissive and aggressive than some of the other bloggers. (You did say: “I’m waiting for it to get good.”)

    That being said, I wouldn’t be so sure you’re not the target audience. There’s nothing particularly “hip” or “cool” (in your words) about an article about (Jewish) evangelicals. From my point of view, it’s an interesting and different take on a movement that’s in the news a lot. I don’t think an article like this is more relevant to the “unengaged” and “unaffiliated” than it is to me and you.

    Some of the content may be hipster-oriented, but I don’t get the sense that Jewcy will be limited to that.

  3. Joshua Gershman

    As I think with anything new and “hipster-oriented” these days, the reviews come back either tremendous or disastrous, and the latter is exactly what we have with Jewcy right now.

    I read that porn star article and found it very interesting and well-written; piercings, tattoos and porn aside, I enjoyed it.

    While this article as well as the evangelical one seem to be polarizing Jewcy’s early critics, I look forward to what will become Jewcy’s consistent efforts.

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